skip to main content

About CCE

More than 40 faculty members in Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (CCE) work at the forefront of their fields to advance knowledge in the areas of chemistry, chemical engineering, and biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Our faculty work in close partnership with undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral scholars. Together they apply their most innovative ideas to our fundamental knowledge of chemical processes, thereby tackling some of chemistry's most complex problems.

CCE Faculty Group Photo

CCE at a Glance

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech have a long tradition of excellence. Alumnus and CCE chair for 22 years Linus Pauling revolutionized the field with his insights into the nature of the chemical bond (Nobel Prize in 1954) and essentially invented the field of chemical biology. Arnold Beckman (PhD '28) invented the pH meter and other revolutionary instruments that led to new discoveries in biochemistry and medicine and founded Beckman Instruments, the first electronic instrumentation company. Gordon Moore (PhD '54) founded the semiconductor chip-making company Intel and authored Moore's Law (which predicts that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years). Rudy Marcus (Nobel Prize in 1992) revolutionized the theory of the rates of chemical reactions, and Ahmed Zewail (Nobel Prize in 1999) pioneered femtochemistry, allowing real-time observation of reaction transition states. Bob Grubbs (Nobel Prize in 2005) enabled olefin metathesis to become a powerful synthetic tool with broad applications in the chemical industry and the pharmaceutical industry. John Seinfeld (Tyler Prize, 2012) carries on Caltech's pioneering role in studying air pollution, determining the physics and chemistry of atmospheric aerosols. Frances Arnold (Nobel Prize in 2018) developed directed evolution as a way to invent new, protein-catalyzed reactions that are greener and more efficient than conventional processes.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

BS in Chemistry
BS in Chemical Engineering

Graduate Degrees

MS*, PhD in Chemistry
MS*, PhD in Chemical Engineering
MS*, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

*Awarded under special circumstances only

Current Rankings

CCE is top ranked in chemistry and in chemical engineering by the US News and World Report.

Faculty Honors and Awards

(Names in bold denote current members of the faculty)

Frances Arnold, 2018

Robert H. Grubbs, 2005

Ahmed H. Zewail, 1999

Rudy A. Marcus, 1992

Linus Pauling (PhD '25), 1954

Jacqueline K. Barton, 2011

Peter B. Dervan, 2006

John D. Baldeschwieler, 2000

Jack D. Roberts, 1990

Arnold Beckman, 1989

Rudy A. Marcus, 1989

Harry B. Gray, 1986

Linus Pauling, 1974

Arie Haagen-Smit, 1973

Frances H. Arnold, 2011

Arnold Beckman, 1988

Rudolph A. Marcus, 1984

Ahmed H. Zewail, 1993

Harry B. Gray, 2004

(The Tyler Prize is the top honor for researchers in environmental science, environmental health, and energy)

John H. Seinfeld, 2012

Arie Haagen-Smit, 1974

William M. (Bil) Clemons, Jr, 2022

Linda Hsieh-Wilson, 2022

John F. Brady, 2020

Greg Fu, 2014

John H. Seinfeld, 2013

Dennis A. Dougherty, 2009

Frances H. Arnold, 2008

David A. Tirrell, 2008

Mark E. Davis, 2006

Stephen L. Mayo, 2004

Jacqueline K. Barton, 2002

Douglas C. Rees, 2000

John E. Bercaw, 1990

Robert H. Grubbs, 1989

Ahmed H. Zewail, 1989

Fred C. Anson, 1988

Peter B. Dervan, 1986

William A. Goddard, III, 1984

Jesse L. Beauchamp, 1981

Harry B. Gray, 1971

John D. Baldeschwieler, 1970

Rudolph A. Marcus, 1970

John D. Roberts, 1956

Robert H. Grubbs, 2015

Richard C. Flagan, 2010

David A. Tirrell, 2008

Frances H. Arnold, 2000

John F. Brady, 1999

Mark E. Davis, 1997

John H. Seinfeld, 1982

Jacqueline K. Barton, 2012

David A. Tirrell, 2011

Mark E. Davis, 2011

Frances H. Arnold, 2004

Peter B. Dervan, 1997

Peter Dervan, 2022

Jacqueline K. Barton, 2015

Ahmed H. Zewail, 2011

Harry B. Gray, 1991

John D. Roberts, 1987

Linus Pauling, 1984

3 members of all three branches of the National Academies (the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine), an honor that only 13 living individuals can claim:

David A. Tirrell, 2011
Mark E. Davis, 2011
Frances H. Arnold, 2008

Division Chairs

Dennis A. Dougherty, 2019-present
Jacqueline K. Barton, 2009-2019
David A. Tirrell, 1999-2009
Peter B. Dervan, 1994-1999
Fred C. Anson, 1984-1994
Harry B. Gray, 1978-1984
John D. Baldeschwieler, 1973-1978
John D. Roberts, 1972-1973
George Hammond, 1968-1972
John D. Roberts, 1963-1968
Ernest Swift, 1958-1963
Linus Pauling, 1937-1958
Arthur Amos Noyes, 1927-1937